March 30, 2005 - The blue jerseys looked like those of the Pusch Ridge Christian Academy baseball team but the red caps may have caused the casual passerby of the Class 2A school's diamond to wonder, 'have the Lions changed their school colors?' The answer is no. PRCA is still blue and gold. The red hats belonged to Eagles of Canton Galva High School who took five days away from their home state of Kansas to get some spring training in Tucson. Twelve players from the Kansas squad worked out with the Lions on March 22 at PRCA. The team squeezed its players and equipment into two trucks and set out on the 19-hour trip to Tucson. While in the Old Pueblo, the players and coaches took in some Chicago White Sox spring training at Tucson Electric Park and managed to get in a few workouts of their own at PRCA and Central Arizona College. Eagle head coach Dennis Toya is a former student at Amphitheater High School and hopes to be able to bring a team back to Tucson every three years.
AIA rules wouldn't allow the Lions and Eagles to scrimmage.
For the first time in more than eight years the Cactus Classic Inline Marathon will not be bladed. The annual marathon for all ages has been skated the first Sunday in November since 1997. Although the first one was held in Southeast Tucson, subsequent races have taken place in Marana and Oro Valley. A lack of funding is to blame for the postponement of this year's race, which was to be held Nov. 6 in Oro Valley.
Those looking to play the complete Cañada course at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador's Country Club, 10555 N. La Cañada Drive, will have to hurry. The course will close holes seven through 15 in May to overhaul the grass. Last summer, holes one through six and 16 through 18 got the same treatment. The process is expected to take the entire summer to complete. Golfing at the El Conquistador won't grind to a halt, however. Golfers can still play the other 27 holes offered by the country club.
Long journey home
It may be a long journey, but fans made it. The Arizona Interscholastic Association has announced that its first year of hosting "February Frenzy" in Glendale Arena drew more than 80,000 spectators to the high school basketball, wrestling and spirit line state championships held at the new facility located north of Phoenix. The Northwest was well represented in Glendale. The girls basketball team of Pusch Ridge Christian Academy won the Class 2A state title, while Ironwood Ridge's Joey Crandall took home a wrestling state championship in the 145-pound weight class.
Also in AIA news is a change in playoff format for high school baseball. Starting with the 2006 season, the Class 5A will change its playoff format from single to double elimination. The switch puts regional playoffs on the chopping block. A power point system, similar to the one the AIA already uses for football, will determine the top 16 teams to compete for the state's top honor.